Crisis Simulation

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    The hypothetical scenario was daunting: An intoxicated driver had just plowed a bus full of students through the wall of the school’s music building, killing seven and injuring 32. How would professionals in charge of emergency management respond to the erupting crisis?

    School counselors and mental health providers gathered in small groups at the LSU Health Sciences Center’s School of Medicine to deliberate on a plan of action, drawing from eight core guidelines they had reviewed on a projector screen a few minutes earlier. Many funneled their ideas from lessons they had learned over several decades of experience.

    Conducting exercises like the one described here in a quote from is one of the best ways to boost your crisis management plan’s chance of success. Not only does walking through potential crisis situations help to cement the role each person plays in the process, but it also helps uncover existing flaws in current plans. These crisis simulations also have the advantage of being able to be run at many different levels of complexity, from tabletop discussion to full on simulations, depending on an organization’s budget and needs.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]